OMAR Mine Museum – Kabul, Afghanistan - Atlas Obscura

OMAR Mine Museum

A sobering museum dedicated to landmines and the personnel working to remove them from Afghanistan. 


The OMAR Mine Museum in Kabul displays 51 of the 53 types of landmines used in Afghanistan. It also houses a variety of other military hardware from wars fought in the country in recent decades.

Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Most of the mines’ victims are innocent civilians. Tragically, the buried weapons claim the lives of far too many curious children.

The Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR) was formed in 1990 to help combat the issue. Its team of about 500 people performs the rather stressful job of removing landmines from the earth within Afghanistan. A plain white brick building in Kabul houses their findings.

Besides landmines, the museum also holds cluster bombs, rockets, unexploded ordnance, and airdrop bombs. There are even Russian “butterfly” mines, which children often mistook for plastic toys because they were made in a wide range of vibrant colors. The grounds surrounding the museum contain an interesting collection of rockets, surface-to air-missiles, and aircraft including helicopter gunships and an MiG fighter.

If the museum isn’t a sobering enough experience, a memorial plaque inside honors the bravery of those who’ve died removing landmines in the area.

Know Before You Go

Due to security reasons you cannot visit this museum without an appointment but this can be arranged through the main OMAR office in Kabul. There is a hefty charge of around $20 for photography but presumably it helps toward landmine clearance.

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November 27, 2017

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